The Greatest Movies, Docuseries, and TV Shows About Cults

  1. Faults – 2014
  2. The Endless – 2017
  3. The Master 2012
  4. The House of the Devil – 2009
  5. The Wicker Man – 1973
  6. The Seventh Victim – 1943
  7. The Empty Man – 2020
  8. Rosemary’s Baby 1968
  9. Split Image – 1982
  10. The Invitation – 2022
  11. Apostle – 2018
  12. Martha Marcy May Marlene – 2011
  13. Sound of My Voice – 2011
  14. Son – 2021
  15. The Black Cat – 1934
  16. The Devil Rides Out – 1968
  17. Susperia – 1977
  18. Eyes Wide Shut – 1999
  19. The City of the Dead – 1960
  20. The Devils – 1971
  21. The Cabin in the Woods – 2011
  22. Kill List – 2011
  23. Starry Eyes – 2014
  24. Jonestown: The Life and Death of the Peoples Temple – 2006
  25. Mandy – 2018
  26. Fresh – 2022
  27. The Perfection – 2018
  28. Jonestown: Paradise Lost – 2007
  29. V/H/S/2 – 2013
  30. V/H/S/94 – 2021
  31. Jesus Camp – 2006
  32. Waco: The Rules of Engagement 1997
  33. The Source Family – 2012
  34. The Other Lamb – 2019
  35. Wild Wild Country – 2018
  36. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief – 2015
  37. Children of God: Lost and Found – 2007
  38. Manson – 1973
  39. El Topo – 1970
  40. Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults – 2020
  41. The Lodge – 2019
  42. Prophet’s prey – 2015
  43. God Told Me To – 1976
  44. The Deep End – 2018
  45. The End of the World Cult – 2007
  46. Waco – 2018
  47. My Scientology Movie – 2015
  48. Sons of Perdition – 2010
  49. Seduced: Indside the NXIVM Cult – 2020
  50. The Cult of the Family – 2019
  51. Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst – 2004
  52. Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath – 2016-2019
  53. Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey – 2022
  54. Orgasm Inc.: The SStory of OneTaste – 2022
  55. The Way Down – 2021
  56. The Secrets of Hillsong – 2023
  57. Devil in Ohio – 2022
  58. Murder Among the Mormons – 2021
  59. Under the Banner of Heaven – 2022
  60. The Six Degrees of Helter Skelter – 2008
  61. Unorthodox – 2020
  62. Big Love 2006-2011
  63. Cults and Extreme Beliefs – 2018
  64. Lyle – 2014
  65. Waiting for John – 2015
  66. Yellowjackets – 2021-
  67. Help! – 1965
  68. Julieta – 2016
  69. The Siege at Ruby Ridge – 1996
  70. Welcome to Leith – 2015
  71. The Keepers – 2017
  72. Kumare – 2011
  73. A – 1998
  74. One of Us – 2017
  75. The Lost Key – 2014
  76. Elmer Gantry – 1960
  77. God Loves Uganda – 2013
  78. Gonzalez: Falsos Profetas – 2014
  79. Higher Ground – 2011
  80. Marjoe – 1972
  81. The Magdalene Sisters – 2002
  82. Boy Erased – 2018
  83. The Miseducation of Cameron Post – 2018
  84. Cross of Fire – 1989
  85. The Prophet Mimi – 1973
  86. The Wave – 2008
  87. Frailty – 2001
  88. The Unknown Saint – 2019
  89. Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator – 2019
  90. Women Talking – 2022
  91. Deprogrammed – 2015
  92. Waco: The American Apocalypse – 2023
  93. Orphan Black -2013-2017
  94. John of God: The Crimes of Spiritual Healer – 2021
  95. Unveiled: Surviving La Luz del Mundo – 2022
  96. Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence – 2023
  97. Sins Among the Amish – 2022
  98. In the Name of the Father – 2023
  99. Cult Killer: The Story of Rick Rodriguez – 2006
  100. Archive 81 – 29022

Oppenheimer (2023)

Oppenheimer is a 2023 epic American biographical thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Based on 2005 biography American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, the film follows the career of American theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. The story predominantly focuses on Oppenheimer’s early studies, his involvement in the Manhattan Project during World War II, and his fall from grace due to his 1954 security hearing. Cillian Murphy stars as the title character, Emily Blunt as his wife Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer, Matt Damon as Leslie Groves, the director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss, a senior member of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. The cast also includes Florence Pugh, Josh Hartnett, Casey Affleck, Rami Malek and Kenneth Branagh.

In 1926, the 22-year-ols doctoral student J. Robert Oppenheimer suffers from homesickness and anxiety while studying under experimental physicist Patrick Blackett at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge. Upset with Blackett, Oppenheimer fights back by leaving him a poisoned apple, then barely stops visiting scientistNiels Bohr from eating it. Oppenheimer completes his physics PHD in Germany, and later meets theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg at a conference in Switzerland. He returns to the United States, hoping to expand quantum physics research there, and starts teaching at the University of California, Berkeley and California Institute of technology; not long after, World War II breaks out in Europe. He meets his future wife, Katherine Puening, a biologist and ex-communist, and also has an intermittent affair with Jean Tatlock, a member of the Communist Party USA, until her suicide a few years later.

In 1942, U.S. Army General Leslie Groves recruits Oppenheimer to lead the Manhattan Project to develop an atomic bomb after Oppenheimer gives promise that he has communist ties or sympathies. Oppenheimer, who is Jewish, is particulary driven by the Nazis’ potentially completing their nuclear weapons program that Heisenberg heads. Oppenheimer assembles a scientific team including Edward Teller and Isidor Isaac Rabi in Los Alamos, New Mexico to secretly create the bomb. Oppenheimer works with scientists to Enrico Fermi and David L. Hill, and he and Albert Einstein discuss how an atomic bomb risks triggering an unstoppable chain reaction that could destroy the world.

After Germany surrenders, several project scientists question the bomb’s continued importance, but Oppenheimer emphasizes it will end the war in the Pacific. The Trenity test is successfully conducted just before the Postdam Conference. President Harry S. Truman orders Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be bombed, forcing Japan’s surrender. Oppenheimer is thrown into the public eye as the “father of the atomic bomb” but the immense destruction and massive fatalities haunts him. He urges Truman to restrict further nuclear weapon developmen, but he president rejects Oppenheimer’s advice, calling it weak.

At a hearing intended to eliminate his political influence, Oppenheimer is betrayed by Teller and other colleagues. Strauss exploits Oppenheimer’s associations with Communists such as Tatlock and Oppenheimer brother, Frank. Despite Rabi and several other allies testifying in Oppenheimer’s defense, his security clearance is prematurely revoked, damaging his public image and neutralizing his policy influence.

As an advisor to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Oppenheimer advocates against further nuclear research, especially the hydrogen bomb, started by Teller. His stance becomes a point of dispute amid the intense Cold War with the Soviet Union. AEC Chairman Lewis Strauss resents Oppenheimer for publicly dismissing his worries about the export of radiosotopes and recommending arms talks with the Soviet Union.

At a hearing intended to stop political influence, Oppenheinmer is betrayed by Teller and others. Strauss exploits Oppenheimer’s associations with communists such as Tatlock and Oppenheimer’s brother, Frank. Despite Rabi and several other partners testifying in Oppenheimer’s defense, his security clearance is revoked, ruining his public image and annulling his policy influence. At Strauss’s later Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce, Hill testifies about Strauss’s personal motives in engineering Oppenheimer’s deposition. The senate votes against Strauss’s nomination.

In 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson presents Oppenheimer with the Enrico Fermi Award as an act of political recovery.

This a really long film at over three hours in runtime. Towards the end, it does drag on, making you wonder if it will ever end, but the amazing story and outstanding acting and cinematography make up for that. There is a lot of talking, almost too much, but there is a lot action and drama as well, that make the movie entertaining. Nolan goes long and deep in the making of the bomb, an astonishing and horrifying process. He doesn’t restage the attacks though; there are no documentary shots of deaths or scenes of cities in ruin, choices that show his ethicality in directing. The horros of the bombings and the aftermath and the magnitude of the suffering they caused, permeate the film. Oppenheimer is a magnificent achievement in the art of filmmaking, absorbing the history of the story beautifully.

The story chronicles Oppenheimer, played with extreme intensity by Cillian Murphy, covering decades, starting in the 1920s with him as a young adult and it continues until his hair grays. The film involves the professional and personal achievements, including his work on the bomb, the controversies surrounding him, the anti-Communism and the attacks that almost destroyed him, as well as his romances and friendships that helped him grow, but also disturbed him.

This is a very deep story that is filled with event after event that Nolan tells with pure genius that not many other filmmakers today can do. He goes from color to black and white, zooms in and zooms out, uses intense sound effects and no sound at all, as well as intense effects to caputre the life of one of the most important, yet complicated men American history, a man who never won the Nobel Prize like he should have (yet 31 one other scientists on the Manhattan project did) for such an achievement.

Although the film doesn’t tell of his upbringing as a child, it does tell of his love for science at a very early age and how he got interested and started in quantum physics. Yes, it would have been very interesting to learn about Oppenheimer’s childhood, but it would have made the film probably close to five hours or more. There are books and documentaries that talk about his life as a child for those wanting to learn about it.

Yes, this is a really long movie. It does spend a lot of time on the hearings, but it also spends a lot of time as well on the concieving of the idea and the building of the bomb as well. Had the ending been shorter, you wouldn’t have learned much about Oppenheimer’s relationship with Albert Einstein, or how the hearings went down and their results.

Cillian Murphy is amazing as J. Robert Oppenheimer, a role only he could play. Emily Blunt is great as “Kitty” Oppenheimer. Matt Damon is excellent as General Leslie Groves. Robert Downey Jr. is outstanding as Lewis Strauss. Florence Pugh is really good in her role as Jean Tatlock, the psychiatrist and Communist Party USA member, whom J. Robert had a relationship and eventual affair with. Joshn Hartnett in his best role to date, is great in the role as nuclear phsicist and Nobel Prize winner Ernest Lawrence. Casey Affleck is really good as U.S. Army military intelligence officer Boris Pash. Rami Malek is good, not great as nuclear physicist David L. Hill. Kenneth Branagh does a fine job as Danish physicist Neils Bohr.

This film, though long and dragged out, still has Oscars written all over it. This is one of the greatest biopics of all time alongside others like Capote, 12 Years a Slave, and Schindler’s List. The way Christopher Nolan uses color, as well as black and white, and goes from past to present, to time periods in between, is pure genius. This movie, shot on Imax 70mm film, makes it as breathtaking as it is shocking, along with the fantanstic acting, costuming, effects, cinematography, and soundtrack. Nolan captures Oppenheimer and The Manhattan Project so spectacuraly, it sucks you in and takes you on a ride of romance, war, science, bombs, and legal trails. The director also uses no CGI to capture the effects, which very few directors today do, which make the film even more captivating and can lead it to more award nominations, and possible wins.

Overall, this is an extraordinary film, a must-see. If you only go to see one movie this year, make it this one. Sure, Barbie is cute and fun, but you’ll likely forget about it in a couple years or so. Oppenheimer you’ll probably never forget whether you’ve seen it once or over one-hundred times. Stunning, stunning, stunning, a masterpiece of cinematic art. 18+ 4.5/5

Classic of the Week: Psycho (1960)

Psycho is a 1960 American thrilleer film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The film stars Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin and Martin Balsam. The story centers on an encounter between embezzler Marion Crane (Leigh) and shy motel worker Norman Bates (Perkins) and its aftereffects, in which a private investigator (Balsam), Marions lover Sam Loomis (Gavin), and her sister Lila (Miles) investigate her disappearance. 

During a Friday afternoon engagement in a Phoenix hotel, real estate secretary Marion Crine and her boyfriend Sam Loomis discuss their inability to get married because of Sam’s debs. Marion returns to work, steals a cash payment of $40,000 entrusted to her for deposit, and drives to Sam’s house in Fairvale, California. She pulls over and falls asleep and is woken up by a police officer the next morning. Her anxious behavior makes him question her reasons and asks to see her license but lets her go. Marion quickly trades her car with Arizona plates for a car with California plates. 

Marion stops for a night at the Bates Motel, located off the main highway, and hides the stolen money inside a newspaper. Owner Norman Bates walks out of a large house ovetrlooking the motel, registars Marion under an alias, and invites her to dinner. After Norman returns to his house, Marion overhears he and his mother arguing over Marion being there. Norman returns with the meal and apologizes for his mother’s anger. He tells her about his hobby as taxidermist, and his mother’s “illness.” Marion decides to drive back to Phoenix in the morning to return the stolen money. As Marion showers, a shadowy figure appears and stabs her. 

This film has its thrills, but at times comes off as a low-budget exploitation film. Many times throughout the film, there is no dialogue, just music, adding to the eerieness and intensity, which isn’t a bad thing, as we can still what’s going on. It is more disturbing than scary. At the time of its release, this movie was considered super scary, but it is very tame by today’s standards. 

Bates is very dark and very slow for its nearly two hour runtime. It has the thrill factor, the intensity, and the fine acting from all of its lead cast, but at times it comes off as cheaply made. It is only slightly entertaining, even though there have several remakes of the film and a TV series version.

This is definitely one of Hitchcock’s more gruesome films even though the gore is pretty mild, and even after learning that the blood in the shower scene was actually chocolate syrup, the scene is still disturbing enough and well done that it could still keep one up at night. Most of the movie takes place at the motel, so not much change of scenery, which may bore some viewers. Though this may not be Hitchcock’s best film in my opinion, it’s not his worst either. The plot may be simple, but the movie is well directed, well acted, and the effects are good too. 

Only Hitchcock could’ve taken such a basic storyline and turned it into what many consider a masterpiece. He knew how to shock and amaze then and his films still do to this day. 18+ 3.5/5 

Top 150 Greatest Crime Movies and Documentaries

  1. The French Connection – 1971 
  2. Tales of the Grim Sleeper – 2014 
  3. The Usual Susoects – 1995 
  4. The Act of Killing – 2012 
  5. The Big Sleep – 1946 
  6. The Thin Blue Line – 1988 
  7. Pulp Fiction – 1994 
  8. Murder on a Sunday Morning – 2001 
  9. Chinatown – 1974 
  10. O.J.: Made in America – 2016 
  11. Goodfellas – 1990 
  12. The Imposter – 2012 
  13. The Godfather – 1972 
  14. Brother’s Keeper – 1992 
  15. The Godfather Part II – 1974 
  16. Tower – 2016 
  17. Heat – 1995 
  18. Bus 174 – 2002 
  19. Scarface – 1983 
  20. F for Fake – 1973 
  21. Fargo – 1996 
  22. Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art – 2020 
  23. L.A. Confidential – 1997 
  24. Capturing the Friedmans – 2003 
  25. City of God – 2002 
  26. Animal Kingdom – 2010 
  27. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father – 2008 
  28. Trainspotting – 1996 
  29. Lost for Life – 2013 
  30. Rocco and His Brothers – 1960 
  31. Mommy Dead and Dearest – 2017 
  32. Graduation – 2016 
  33. Sour Grapes – 2016 
  34. Mystic River – 2003 
  35. The Central Park Five – 2012 
  36. The Big Risk – 1960 
  37. The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden – 2013 
  38. Grisbi – 1954 
  39. The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz – 2014 
  40. The Last Seduction – 1994 
  41. Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop – 2015 
  42. The Silence of the Lambs – 1991 
  43. The Newburgh Sting – 2014 
  44. The Trial of the Chicago 7 – 2020 
  45. The Iceman Confesses: Secrets of a Mafia Hitman – 2001 
  46. The Departed – 2006 
  47. The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer – 1992 
  48. Widows – 2018 
  49. The Cheshire Murders – 2013 
  50. Sweet Sixteen – 2002 
  51. The Grifters – 1990 
  52. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills – 1996 
  53. Drug War – 2012
  54. Into the Abyss – 2011 
  55. Traffic – 2000
  56. 1971 – 2014 
  57. In the Bedroom – 2001 
  58. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley – 2019 
  59. Boys Don’t Cry – 1999
  60. Our Father – 2022
  61. Dreamcatcher – 2015 
  62. Murder to Mercy: The Cyntonia Brown Story – 2020
  63. The Murder of Fred Hampton – 1971 
  64. Sophie: A Murder in West Cork – 2021 
  65. The Executioner’s Song – 1982 
  66. The Hunting Ground – 2015 
  67. Serpico – 1973 
  68. WeWork: Or the Making of $47 Billion Unicorn – 2021 
  69. The Fugitive – 1993 
  70. Fyre – 2019 
  71. In Cold Blood – 1967 
  72. Museo – 2018 
  73. Baby God – 2020 
  74. Hell or High Water – 2016 
  75. American Murder: The Family Next Door – 2020 
  76. Band of Outsiders – 1964 
  77. The Tinder Swindler – 2022 
  78. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – 2017 
  79. Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist – 2022 
  80. On the Waterfront – 1954 
  81. Abducted in Plain Sight – 2017 
  82. Assault on Precinct 13 – 1976 
  83. The Girl in the Picture – 2022 
  84. American Hustle – 2013 
  85. 13th – 2016 
  86. United 93 – 2006 
  87. Athlete A – 2020 
  88. A Bright Summer Day – 1991 
  89. Strong Island – 2017 
  90. The Crying Game – 1992 
  91. The Fog of War – 2003 
  92. No Country for Old Men – 2007 
  93. 4 Little Girls – 1997 
  94. Cool Hand Luke – 1967 
  95. Big Men – 2013 
  96. Badlands – 1973 
  97. Time – 2020 
  98. Elevator to the Gallows – 1958 
  99. Let it Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 – 2017 
  100. Taxi Driver – 1976
  101. I Called Him Morgan – 2016 
  102. Double Indemnity – 1944
  103. Citizenfour – 2014 
  104. Mean Streets – 1973 
  105. Crime + Punishment – 2018 
  106. 12 Angry Men – 1957 
  107. Deliver Us from Evil – 2006 
  108. Rififi – 1955 
  109. Red Roll Red – 2018 
  110. Touch of Evil – 1958 
  111. The Night of the Hunter – 1955 
  112. The Good Nurse – 2022 
  113. My Friend Dahmer – 2017 
  114. Audrie & Daisy – 2016 
  115. L’Argent – 1983 
  116. Charm City – 2018 
  117. Tell Me Who I Am – 2019 
  118. Shoplifters – 2018 
  119. White Boy – 2017 
  120. Why Did You Kill Me? – 2021 
  121. The Red Circle – 1970 
  122. Uncut Gems – 2019 
  123. 16 Shots – 2018 
  124. The Seven Five – 2014 
  125. The Ladykillers – 1955 
  126. The Wolf of Wall Street – 2013 
  127. Pervert Park – 2014 
  128. Team Foxcatcher – 2016 
  129. Foxcatcher – 2014 
  130. Dark Waters – 2019 
  131. A Prophet – 2009 
  132. 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets – 2015 
  133. Private Violence – 2014 
  134. Bonnie and Clyde – 1967 
  135. The Fear of 13 – 2015 
  136. Gangs of Wasseypur – 2012 
  137. Piccadilly – 1929 
  138. Bernie – 2011 
  139. Man Bites Dog – 1992 
  140. Bowling for Columbine – 2002 
  141. The Phantom – 2021 
  142. Capote – 2005 
  143. Strangers on a Train – 1951 
  144. Collective – 2019 
  145. Icarus – 2017 
  146. To Kill a Mockingbird – 1962 
  147. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room – 2005 
  148. Inside Job – 2010 
  149. Amanda Knox – 2016 
  150. Gomorrah – 2008 

The Menu (2022)

The Menu is a 2022 American black comedy horror film directed by Mark Mylod and stars Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Holt, Hong Chau, Janet McTeer, Reed Birney, Judith Light, and John Leguizamo. 

Tyler and his companion Margot Mills travel by boat to Hawthorne, an exclusive restaurant owned and operated by celebrity chef Julian Slowik, located on a private island. The other guests attending the dinner are Lilian, a food critic; her editor Ted; wealthy couple Richard and Anne; George, a post-prime movie star amd his personal assistant Felicity; and business partners Soren, Dave, and Bryce. The guests are given a tour of the island by the restaurant maitre d’ Elsa, who notes that Margot was not Tyler’s original guest for the evening. 

The courses and Slowik’s following speeches start to become more distressing and violent. On Slowik’s orders. one staff member kills himself and another cuts off Richard’s finger when he tries to leave the restaurant. The restuarant’s main investor, while strapped to a harness with angel wings is drowned in front of the guests, who later try to flee when Slowik gives them 45 seconds to escape, but are caught by staff and are threatened by Slowik that any attempts to leave will result in more severe consequences. Slowik proclaims all the guest were selected because they make a living off exploting the work of artisans like him, then declares that the night will end with everyone dead. Since Margot’s presence was unplanned, Slowik gives her the choice of dying with either the staff or the guests. 

Slowik turns on Tyler, revealing that he was invited personally and knew all along that the dinner would end with everyone’s death, which infuriates Margot, since he knowling coaxed her to join a trap for dying. It is revealed that Margot is a prostitute named Erin (who had sex with Richard) whom Tyler has hired for the evening, knowing that she would die. Slowik humiliates Tyler further by forcing him to cook (which he does very poorly) in front of everyone, then coaxes Tyler to commit suicide by himself with his necktie in a nearby storeroom. Slowik decides that Erin belongs to the staff and asks her to retrieve a barrel needed for dessert, falsely saying that Elsa forgot it. 

Elsa sneeks into Slowik’s house, which contains a replica of Hawthorne, only to be attacked by Elsa. Erin kills Elsa in self-defense by stabbin her in the neck. After seeing newspaper clippings of Slowik’s past life in barely decorated office, Erin finds a radio, calls for help, and returns ti the restaurant with the barrel. A Coast Guard officer arrives from his boat, bringing hope to the guests, holding Slowik at gunpoint. The officer then reveals himself to be a line cook in disguise and returns to the kitchen. 

Due to Erin’s disloyalty, Slowik now claims that she belongs to the guests, but Erin mocks his dishes and complains that she is still hungry. Having just seen a photo of a young, happy Slowik working at a fast-food restaurant, Erin asks him for a cheeseburger and fries. Moved by her simple request, Slowik prepares the meal to her requests. Erin takes a bite and praises his food, then asks if she can get it “to go.” Slowik packs the food for her and let’s her leave. Erin finds a boat docked nearby and escapes the island. To end the dinner Slowik pays tribute to s’mores by covering the guests in marshmallows and and hats made of chocolate. 

Memembers of the tiny 1% get stuck on an island owned by an amazing, yet insane chef and his equally talented cooks. The guests, aside from Tyler, Richard, and Anne, think they are just going to be tasting some of the most exquisite foods and wines in the world in a beautiful location. That is just a portion of what these guests get at this insanely expepensive restautant on the secluded island of Hawthorne. The food and wine may be considered tasty, but the portions are miniscule and the disturbing “performances” both leave you hungry. You think the first “performance” is just a show and the only one, until every course is followed by one, making it hard to eat, because you instantly lose your appetite. 

This film is considered a black comedy (dark humor), but I don’t understand why. How is someone drowning, someone shooting themselves, and someone having a finger cut off funny? It’s not, it’s disturbing. I didn’t chuckle not once for the almost two hour runtime. I found that the violence was too much and with less of it, this would have been a very enjoyable movie. With a great cast, I was expecting something great, but what I got was just a long movie where people eat, drink, and die. The acting is superb, the clothing is gorgeous, the food is prepared beautifully, the scenery is breathtaking, but the story is weak. The entire film is spent in and around the restaurant, mostly inside, giving the film a claustrophobic, cabin-fever feel, especially since there is no way for guests to leave unless Slowik allows them to. It’s Slowik’s way, no ifs, ands, or buts. 

Slowik is a very powerful and strict man with a booming voice and a stare that feels like it’s slicing you in half. He claps really loud to get everyone’s attention and every time he does, you jump and get angry. He is a brilliant, but twisted man and very unpredictable. He is equal parts intriguing and scary and the character seemed to have be created just for Ralph Fiennes. 

This movie jumps from really slow to really unsetting really fast far too much, making it hard to enjoy. Why this is categorized as a black comedy I don’t understand. Death is not something to laugh at and the deaths in this movie are very obscene. They are over the top gory, where you want to look away, but you still hear the sounds and that’s just as bad. Most of the film is dark too, not just because it’s at night (aside from the begining), but it seems there is hardly any light regardless. Slowik may want a certain ambience in his restaurant and house, but it’s hard to see clearly at times and it’s hard to enjoy the movie overall because of this. 

Normally I enjoy weird movies, but this one was not just weird, but so disquietning, that I found very little enjoyment in it, aside from the fine acting from the main cast and the lovely attire and food arrangements. Had I had known about all the grusome dying beforehand, I would have seen something else altogether, as that is more offensive and perturbing than entertaining. Adults only 2.5/5 


Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

Don’t Worry Darling is a 2022 American psycholigical thriller film directed by Olivia Wilde. The film strars Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Oliva Wilde, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll, and Chris Pine. The movie follows a perfect housewife living in a company town who begins to sense that a sinister secret is kept from its residents by the man who runs it. 

In America duran unspecified time period, Alice and Jack Chambers live in an a perfect 1950s-styled neighborhood in the company town of Victory, California. Every day, the men go to work at Voctory Headquarters out in the surrounding desert while their wives, stay home, to clean, relax, and cook dinner for their husbands. The women are discouraged from asking questions about their husbands’ work and told not to go out to the Headquarters. Margaret has become an outcast after taking her son out into the desert, resulting in her son’s apparent death, although she claims that Victory took him from her as punishment. While attending a party hosted by Frank, Victory’s mysterious founder and leader, Alice sees Margaret’s husband try to give her medication. Later, she sees Frank looking in on her and Jack while they are having sex in Frank’s bedroom. 

One morning, while riding the trolley across town, Alice witnesses a plane crash out in the desert. She rushes to help and comes upon the Headquarters, a small building covered in mirror-like windows. After touching one, she experiences surreal halluncinations before waking up back home later that night. In the following days, she experiences increasingly strange occurrances. She recieves a phone call from Margaret, who claims to have seen the same thing Alice did. Alice goes to see Margaret and witnesses as she cuts her own throat and falls from the roof of her house. Before she can reach Margaret’s body, Alice is dragged away by men red jumpsuits. 

Jack dismisses Alice’s calims and says Margaret simply fell while cleaning the windows and is recovering. The story is further backed up by the town physician Dr. Collins who tries to give Alice prescription drugs. Alice becomes increasingly paranoid and confused, and during a special Victory event, where Frank gives Jack an outstanding promotion, Alice breaks down in the bathroom and comforted by Bunny. Alice tries to explain everything to her, but Bunny reacts furiously, accusing Alice of being selfish. 

Sometime later, Alice and Jack invite and rest of the neighborhood, except Bunny and her husband Dean, to dinner, with Frank and his wife Shelley as special guests. Frank speaks privately with Alice in the kitchen, implying that she is right in her suspicions. Propelled by his confession, she tries to expose him over dinner, instead, Frank gaslights her, making her look deranged to the other guests. In the aftermath, Alices begs Jack for them to leave Victory. 

This film is a lot like The Stepford Wives, and at times seems like nearly a rip-off of the story. Despite the behind the scenes controversy with the cast, the acting is superb by nearly all but Harry Styles, but the story falls flat. It is far too similatr to The Stepford Wives and has a bit of a Desperate Housewives with an A24 twist, although this film was not produced by them. Harry Styles, isn’t a bad actor, he did a great job in his other film from this year My Policeman, but I think the reason he was just okay in this movie is becasue his character is meant to be handsome and empty. Sure he looks the part with his slim suits and perfect features, the camera loves him, but when it comes time for him to be deeply emotional, especially in scenes with Pugh, he doesn’t even compare to her talent in this one or his My Policeman role. 

Much like Stepford, everyday is the same, the men leave for work at the same time with their fancy cars, gorgeous suits and lunchboxes, and go to their jobs at the Victory Project, which they can’t talk about with their wives. The wives spend the days cleaning, vacuuming, scrubbing this and that in their houses and maybe a dance class. There is almost always day drinking. Wilde plays Alice’s next-door neighbor with her cat-eye makeup and Cheshire Cat grin, she brings both mystery and arrogant sexiness and humor to the strange world. 

Also like Stepford, the leaders are all about control: trying to keep mayhem down, which obviously doesn’t really work, because several neighborhood citizens start to get suspicious of the goings onaround them. The movie just gets stranger and stranger and really confusing at times. It seems to jump from one bizarre scenario to another. Some scenes are just plain weird and have no dialogue, only intense and/or creepy music. 

This film, though classified as a physchological thriller, has the cerebral factor, but it is not as thrilling as most thrillers. So many scenes make no sense, like a scene where Alice is wrapping up leftovers with plastic wrap and decides to wrap her head and face too until she can’t breath and then rips it off. These moments are left unexplained until nearly the end, when you realize there really was something in Victory’s water, that it was all about control, mind, body, lifestyle. The leaders of Victory want to turn the residents into human robots. 

The art of the film is flawless,  from the brilliant cinematography from Matthew Libatique is, to the exquisite production design from Katie Byron, to the beautiful costumes from Arianne Phillips, which will probably be the only awards this one will win, because it sure as heck isn’t going to be Best Picture. You don’t learn the truth about Victory until close the end of the movie, but it takes a prolonged twist craziness to get there. Florence Pugh could win Best Actress, but she’d be the only one deserving of an acting award. The plot is nearly unoriginal, the film is pretty slow for much of its runtime and overall, just seems like a mess of weird events, some rather disturbing, filled with an attractive cast in beautiful attire. 18+ 2/5 

The Good Nurse (2022)

The Good Nurse is a 2022 American drama film starring Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne as two nurses, one who suspects the other of being responsible of a string of patient deaths. The film is based on the 2013 true-crime book of the same name by Charles Graeber about the serial killer Charles Cullen. It was directed by Tobias Lindholm and also stars Nnamdi Asomugha, Kim Dickens, and Noah Emmerich. 

In 1996, a patient admitted to the ICUward of St. Aloysius Hospital, Pennsylvania suffers a seizure. Despite the efforts of the hospital’s staff to resuscitate him, the patient dies. 

Seven years later, in 2003, Amy Loughren, a single mother and nurse working night shifts at Parkfield Memorial Hospital, New Jersey, is introduced to Charles Cullen, an experienced nurse recently hired by the hospital as additional help to her shift. Uknown to the hospital’s administrative staff, Amy is suffering from cardiomyopathy; her lack of health insurance, lack of kin and the fear of retribution shoul her condition be revealed, prompts her to keep it a secret. Despite her condition, she has no other choice but to continue working as a nurse for another four months, in order to obtain health insurance to afford a health transplant. Charlie discorvers her condition and agrees to keep it a secret, also stepping in as a caregiver for her two daughters. 

When Ana Martinez, a septuagenerian patient amitted to Parkfield mysteriously dies, the hospital’s administrative baord contacts the state police, represented by detectives Danny Baldwin and Tim Braun, to inform themof the incident. Nonetheless, the board, led by Linda Garran, the hospital’s risk manager, downplays it, claiming the death was unintentional and that the reason for reporting it was simply to go by health protocol. Regardless, Baldwin remains distrustful of the board, noting that it had acted to report Martinez’s death seven weeks after it had happened. He instantly zeros in on Charlie, noting that he had been convicted of minor charges in 1995. The duo begin interrogating the hospital’s medical staff; when Amy’s turn comes, she notices that insulin had been administered to Martinez, despite her being a non-diabetic. She is further questioned about Charlie’s character. but she speaks up for him. Braun tries to contact the hospitals where Charlie had previously worked at, but none are willing cooperate. Parkfield finally shares its investigation with the police, but Baldwin notices that it is fragmentary, leading him to snap at Garran for her being unprofessional, causing him and Braun to be banned from the hospital. 

When Kelly and Anderson, another ICU patient, suddenly develops an odd cognitive symptoms, Amy discovers that insulin had been given to her. Kelly suffers a seizure and dies, despite Amy’s efforts ro save her. Baldwin and Braun subsequently visit Amy, revealing to her that Charlie had previously worked at nine different hospitals, and that none are willing to talk about him. Baffled, she visitis her friend Lori, a fellow nurse who had previously worked with Charlie at a different hospital. Lori reveals that during Charlie’s tenure, her hospital had dealt with the unfathomable deaths of numerous patients, with the finding of insulin in several of them. 

With Redmayne and Chastain being two of the biggest names in film right now, and this being a true crime film and based on a best-selling book, you’d think this would be a really good movie, but it’s far from it. The story is great, the acting is superb, but the whole film is really slow, to the point of being really boring. The book is anything but boring, I couldn’t put it down when it came out, so when I found out there was to be a movie version starring them (and I’m a huge fan of both), I was expecting it to be outstanding and I was extremely disappointed. Not only is this film very boring, there is very little detail about Cullen’s life growing up, like in the book. 

When you learn about Cullen’s crimes and how the other hospitals basically “covered them up,” it makes you question hospitals, health care, and the law then and now. Despite the slowness of the film, the plot is still bone chilling, especially learning that the horrific acts went on for years and years. This is a dark film and it has the feel of Ozark, which is another Netflix production and maybe it’s a Netflix thing that all new shows and movies and such from them have to look like this, which is a bit annoying and unoriginal and makes you wish someone would turn a light on. 

Eddie Redmayne who plays Charles Cullen, is very soft spoken, except for to Amy’s daughters, which is not like the real Charlie, who is very talkative to most everyone. Ed goes a little broader in the final scesn but, he’s earned it, as for what he has been in up to that part.  Jessica Chastain who plays Amy Loughren, is very shy, like the real Amy. Both Eddie and Jessica are great in their roles, but that may be the only awards this film wins, because I’ll be shocked if it wins Best Picture. 

The film doesn’t go into nearly as much detail about Cullen’s crimes, life, and upbringing, but it does go into a good ammount of detail during the trials. Nnamdi Asomugha does a fine job as Danny Baldwin, Kim Dickens is really good as Linda Garran, and Noah Emmerich does a fine job as Tim Braun. 

Had this film had more light and didn’t feel so Ozark-y or like an Investigative Discovery special or Dateline episode, it would have been more enjoyable. There’s not much gore or violence, which is odd for a crime film. You do see several sick people with scars and peeling skin and the interrogations scenes can be disturbing. There is lots of of cursing, but no drinking, smoking, or sex. Naked dead bodies are shown full frontal. 

Overall, not one of Netflix’s best films. Go for the book, and skip this one. 18+ 2/5 

Top 75 Films That Deal With Addiction and Recovery

  1. A Star is Born – 2018
  2. Notorious – 1946
  3. Drugstore Cowboy – 1989
  4. When a Man Loves a Woman – 1994
  5. Requiem for a Dream – 2000
  6. Sid & Nancy – 1986
  7. The Hustler – 1961
  8. The Panic in Needle Park – 1971
  9. Ray – 2004
  10. Leaving Las Vegas – 1995
  11. The Basketball Diaries – 1995
  12. Phantom Thread – 2017
  13. Shame – 2011
  14. Rocketman – 2019
  15. Uncut Gems – 2019
  16. Ben is Back – 2018
  17. The Man With the Golden Arm – 1955
  18. Clean & Sober – 1988
  19. Don Jon – 2013
  20. Half Nelson – 2006
  21. Flight – 2012
  22. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot – 2018
  23. Traffic – 2000
  24. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – 1998
  25. Another Round – 2020
  26. Rachel Getting Married – 2008
  27. Beautiful Boy – 2018
  28. 6 Balloons – 2018
  29. Factotum – 2005
  30. Crazy Heart – 2009
  31. Rush – 1991
  32. Betty – 1992
  33. Trainspotting – 1996
  34. Gia – 1998
  35. Tender Mercies – 1983
  36. Barfly – 1987
  37. The Lost Weekend – 1945
  38. Days of Wine and Roses – 1962
  39. The Rose – 1979
  40. The Way Back – 2020
  41. Christiane F. – 1981
  42. Pay it Forward – 2000
  43. Basquiat – 1996
  44. Lenny – 1974
  45. The Sound of Metal – 2019
  46. Gridlock’d – 1997
  47. Judy – 2019
  48. Once Were Warriors – 1994
  49. Her Smell – 2018
  50. Nil By Mouth – 1997
  51. Clockers – 1995
  52. Down to the Bone – 2004
  53. Tarnation – 2003
  54. Jesus’ Son – 1999
  55. Devdas – 2002
  56. Midnight Cowboy – 1969
  57. Silver Linings Playbook – 2012
  58. Gone Baby Gone – 2007
  59. I’ll Cry Tomorrow – 1955
  60. The Gambler – 1974
  61. Bigger Than Life – 1956
  62. Easy Rider – 1969
  63. Julia – 2008
  64. Affliction – 1997
  65. Destroyer – 2018
  66. Long Day’s Journey into Night – 1962
  67. Drunken Angel – 1948
  68. Smashed – 2012
  69. A Star is Born – 1954
  70. A Star is Born – 1937
  71. I Walk the Line – 2005
  72. The Wolf of Wall Street – 2013
  73. My Left Foot – 1989
  74. Oslo, August 31st – 2011
  75. The Shining – 1980

Greatest Summertime Movies of All Time

  1. The Seven Year itch – 1955
  2. Vicky Christina Barcelona – 2008
  3. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – 2005
  4. Mamma Mia! – 2008
  5. Stand by Me – 1986
  6. Little Miss Sunshine – 2006
  7. The Notebook – 2004
  8. Crooklyn – 1994
  9. Real Women Have Curves – 2002
  10. Caddyshack – 1980
  11. National Lampoon’s Vacation – 1983
  12. Grease – 1978
  13. The Graduate – 1967
  14. Jaws – 1975
  15. Beaches – 1988
  16. Do the Right Thing – 1989
  17. The River Wild – 1994
  18. The Parent Trap – 1961
  19. The Parent Trap – 1998
  20. The Bridges of Madison County – 1995
  21. Summertime – 1955
  22. Summer Stock – 1950
  23. 500 Days of Summer – 2009
  24. Speed – 1994
  25. Thelma & Louise – 1991
  26. E.T. – 1982
  27. Clueless – 1995
  28. Dirty Dancing – 1987
  29. Point Break – 1991
  30. American Graffiti – 1973
  31. The Goonies – 1985
  32. What About Bob? – 1991
  33. Dazed and Confused – 1993
  34. The Endless Summer – 1966
  35. The Sandlot – 1993
  36. In the Heights – 2021
  37. Palm Springs – 2020
  38. King Richard – 2021
  39. The Talented Mr. Ripley – 1999
  40. Dope – 2015
  41. Lilo & Stitch – 2002
  42. Adventureland – 2009
  43. Sylvie’s Love – 2020
  44. Tomboy – 2011
  45. Moonrise Kingdom – 2012
  46. Everybody Wants Some! – 2016
  47. Luca – 2021
  48. Crazy Rich Asians – 2018
  49. Something’s Gotta Give – 2003
  50. Mystic Pizza – 1988
  51. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar – 2021
  52. The Way Way Back – 2013
  53. Summer of ’42 – 1971
  54. Pauline at the Beach – 1983
  55. Breaking Away – 1979
  56. Moana – 2016
  57. Soul Surfer – 2011
  58. Muppet Treasure Island – 1996
  59. Finding Nemo – 2003
  60. Charlotte’s Web – 1973
  61. Say Anything… – 1989
  62. The Kings of Summer – 2013
  63. Miss Juneteenth – 2020
  64. From Here to Eternity – 1953
  65. Shirkers – 2019
  66. Before Sunrise – 1995
  67. Weekend at Bernie’s – 1989
  68. Monsoon Wedding – 2001
  69. My Summer of Love – 2004
  70. In the Good Old Summertime – 1949
  71. Porgy and Bess – 1959
  72. Beach Rats – 2017
  73. The Florida Project – 2017
  74. Kiss Me Kate – 1953
  75. The Little Mermaid – 1989
  76. Anything Goes – 1956
  77. Damn Yankees – 1958
  78. The Music Man – 1962
  79. Carousel – 1956
  80. An Affair to Remember – 1957
  81. King Creole – 1958
  82. The Long Hot Summer – 1958
  83. Suddenly Last Summer – 1959
  84. A Summer Place – 1959
  85. Gidget – 1959
  86. The Whales of August – 1987
  87. A League of Their Own – 1992
  88. Howard’s End – 1992
  89. Cha Cha Real Smooth – 2022
  90. Dog Day Afternoon – 1975
  91. Roman Holiday – 1953
  92. Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte – 1964
  93. On Golden Pond – 1981
  94. Summer With Monika – 1953
  95. Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday – 1953
  96. Smiles of a Summer Night – 1955
  97. The Talk of the Town – 1942
  98. Early Summer – 1951
  99. Almost Famous – 2000
  100. Summer Interlude – 1951